If your best content falls in the woods, does it have any value?
It does you little good to create the best content on Earth if no one is going to find it. So we wanted to come up with a go-to promotion strategy for marketing quizzes and other forms of interactive content.
We’ve taught you how to create great content, how to find images for it, and even how to use it to take over the world. So what’s the next step? Spreading the word, obviously. You’re smart, you know the basics—stick it on Facebook and Twitter, put it on your blog, send it out through your newsletter. But what about the secrets, the things that set masters apart from amateurs? Well, that’s what we’re here for. We’ve picked up a few promotion strategy tricks along the way, and would love to share them with you.
First, a disclaimer: depending on who your customer or market is, your promotion strategy will be different. Not everything in this post will work for everyone, so instead of offering a to-do list, we offer this list as a toolbox, letting you choose your own tools for the job at hand.
Now that that’s over, let us introduce you to your new go-to resources for content promotion strategy.
Have awesome content
The first step, albeit obvious, must be stated: promoting content rests on the prerequisite of having content that’s worth promoting. What makes that? Good ideas, eye-catching headlines, captivating images. You’re already salivating just thinking about it, we know. And if you’re planning on using a quiz or two, check out our tips on how to make it sweet.
Use who you know
Take advantage of the people that already know you and like you. Not in a bad way, more in a you-liked-that-one-thing-so-let-me-show-you-something-kind-of-like-it type of way. This means any way your brand has of reaching customers, like social media, newsletters, and blogs.
Anywhere you have an audience that’s already shown they’re interested in what you have to say, put your content there! Since newsletter subscribers and blog viewers are fairly self-explanatory, we’ll focus mainly on how to reach your social followers. It doesn’t matter which social media platform you use most—whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, or Pinterest—something here applies.
Once it goes live, make sure it goes out. On sites that allow it, use hashtags that work well in your industry; you can find them using sites like hashtagify.me and check their effectiveness with Rite Tag. Tag the inspiration for your content or anyone you feature (we’ll talk more about this later).
Post it again…and again
When the internet gets over 9,000 new tweets and 2,000 new Instagram photos per second, how do you get your posts noticed? The easy solution is to post more. Here’s a few tips straight out of the Qzzr playbook:
Twitter: On publish, 1 hour, 3 hours, 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 1 month, 2 months
Facebook: On publish, 3 days, 1 week
LinkedIn: On publish, 1 week
Google Plus: On publish, 1 week
We know what you’re thinking though: what if your followers get annoyed? Guy Kawasaki doesn’t think so—in a recent webinar we did with him, he asserted that the potential for a few lost followers is well worth the risk.
However, facing that risk head-on may be more than you can handle. One trick is to present something different with each post, a tidbit that educates anyone who reads it, whether or not they click on your link. Never post the exact same thing twice. A few ways to introduce that variety:
Tweet the title
- 6 Steps to a Sweet Quiz (and How to Make it Viral)
Pose a question
- Of all the forms of content out there, why should you use quizzes and how do you make a killer one?
Quote an author
- How to make it viral: get five influencers with a retweet ratio of 2 or higher to share it.
Cite a statistic
- Did you know: The average quiz gets 1,900 shares and 84% of those shares are on Facebook.
- BuzzSumo’s Stephen Walsh paired up with Qzzr to talk quiz tactics, analytics, and stats.
Make a bold, attention-grabbing statement (that would double as a title)
- Don’t fall behind! How to join the content revolution with quizzes.
Post a link
Post a photo
Time it right
But what’s the use of posting and posting again if no one sees it? You have to post when the most people are online.
- More posts/day = more engagement
- Most blog post shares happen on Thursday
- For the most Facebook clicks, post at 1:00pm or 3:00pm on Thursday or Friday—for the most shares, post Saturday afternoon
- For Twitter, 5:00pm weekdays or anytime weekends is best
You’re probably thinking Pinterest, but you can pin posts in Twitter too (in Facebook, it’s called highlighting). This means anyone who looks at your profile will see these posts first.
Feature your image
Pinterest & Instagram are image-based websites, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect photos on your other accounts. Facebook thinks posts with photos are more “important,” which makes them more likely to appear in newsfeeds, and a tweet with an image is much more noticeable than all-text.
Post in groups
If your business is B2B or if content is directed to a very niche community, posting to groups is essential. Find Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, and Google+ communities whose members would benefit from what you’re posting. Here at Qzzr, we usually try to find two or three groups on each website that are relevant.
Expand your reach
Last but not least, you can always draw more eyes by paying for views, if you’re so inclined. The great thing about this is the control you have over who you’re targeting—people who are similar to your current audience, age range, demographic, etc.
Find people who want to know you
If you have valuable content (and of course you do), it’ll mean something to others as well. So your job is to seek out these others and let them spread your words and images to other people in the industry as well.
Bloggers & influencers
Find the bloggers and influencers who write about your topic and find your content valuable. But remember: someone needs a reason to read, retweet, or recommend whatever it is you send them—and sometimes, they even need a reason to open the email you send them. As Alex Turnbull, the founder of Groove, quotes, “No one cares about your content unless they care about you.”
It’s a bit of a catch-22: how do you make people care about your content if you don’t email them? But why would they open your emails if they don’t care about you? The secret is to start building the relationship and the conversation before you need it. Start interacting with influencers by commenting thoughtfully on their posts, retweeting their content, and then emailing them personally after they’ve seen your name and responded a few times. It’s time consuming but it’s definitely worth it.
You can find bloggers or influencers (people with big followings who share content similar to yours) through any of several sites. Some focus on different social platforms, and others, like BuzzSumo, are multi-purpose—you can find bloggers and Twitter influencers.
Similar but sometimes more effective (results will vary), you can also submit your article to mass communities of bloggers like:
Izea is a site that doesn’t really fit in this category because it functions differently. It’s a paid service where brands can find and pay social media content creators to feature their products/content. It worked well for Zenni Optical (made them over $1 million!).
Link roundups are another way to get your content out there. Many bloggers send out daily or weekly newsletters with a list of their favorite articles or links around the web. For example, Mattermark and Foundcy do this with startup-related content. Google something like “link roundup” or “weekly link roundup” along with a category name, and email the organizer.
Forums and submissions
Submit post to relevant chains. Find a reddit that’s similar to what you do. Or, if you’re in a very popular or large industry like startups or tech, you can submit to HackerNews for tech or Inbound.org and Growth Hackers for marketing. Forums are also a good niche place to send your content to—just find ones that apply to you and are made up of audiences that would find value in what you post. And just like with bloggers and influencers, it’s best to have a good standing within the group before you start posting.
Put yourself out there
Curation and aggregation get confused a lot. The easiest way to distinguish the two? Aggregation is usually automatic or, at least, not filtered based on any standard of quality, just amassed by keywords. Curated content is manually selected by someone and usually republished by that person with fresh insights, a new headline, or personal commentary. In other words, aggregation is collecting, while curation is choosing what’s in that collection. Both are great for submitting to to expose a wider audience to what you’re writing or making.
Content curation platforms
Here’s a list of popular content curation platforms across the web. (We debated keeping Digg on the list, but it seems to have passed its hey-day. No harm in submitting there anyways though, right?)
The website that we’re most familiar with on the list is StumbleUpon, so we’ll stick with giving you advice on that one. First, you submit the page by logging into your StumbleUpon account. Stumblers love things like videos, tutorials, infographics, images, and lists. Interactive is even better—quizzes, anyone? If you’re serious about getting “stumbles,” add a StumbleUpon badge to your page to increase organic traffic, and share StumbleUpon’s custom URL on your social media. Lastly, you can track analytics—the views and likes on your submitted piece—by clicking on the “Your Likes” portion of your profile.
Here are a few aggregators that cover different topics. Same as the curation platforms, most of them require you to create an account before submitting content.
Content discovery/syndication networks are the ones that “suggest” more content from you whenever you’re on a publisher site like CNN, Time Magazine, or National Geographic. The most well-known content discovery networks are Outbrain and Taboola—both of them offer analytics, allow geographical targeting, and strive to drive organic traffic.
The choice of what to use is yours, but here are a few general tips:
- Make your page easy to share. The whole point of having your content “discovered” is the organic traffic that comes with it—along with the organic shares. Are your share buttons always visible and accessible to the user?
- Try to get more out of every person who visits your site. Ask for, at best, an email (maybe in exchange for premium content like an ebook) or, at worst, a Facebook like or Twitter follow.
- Build your retargeting audience. Use Google Analytics to build an audience based on the landing page for your Outbrain or Taboola campaign. This way, anyone who’s visited your site as a result of content discovery will see your ads as they continue to search the web, keeping you in their mind for the extent of their web-surfing duration.
- Test-launch your content. You can use discovery networks to test different headlines against each other, like a soft launch or A/B testing. If you do this before a print run or making something premium content, it can save you a lot of time and money.
Reuse what you have
Why do more work than you have to? Republish & repurpose your old content that works. Make an infographic, podcast, slideshare, or—even better—a quiz! Here’s a full list of things you can turn one high-performing post into:
You can also straight republish your content on sites like Quora, LinkedIn, and Medium. Just remember to link back to your original content and make allowances to how it will affect analytics.
Well, that’s that! Let us know your successes or failures with any of these platforms in the comments—or if we’ve left anything major out of our content promotion strategy guide, let us know. And if you want to hear about a quiz-specific success story, learn how IMI made a quiz for Zenni Optical that generated a million dollars.
101 Ways to Promote Your Next Blog Post – BuzzBlogger
A Scientific Guide to Posting at the Best Time – Buffer
Get the Most from One Blog Post: 21 Advanced Content Tips – Buffer
The Complete Guide to Building Your Blog Audience – QuickSprout
How to Promote Your Blog Post – Robbie Richards
How to Identify Relevant Hashtags – Convince & Convert
4 Ways to Increase Your Traffic with StumbleUpon – KISSmetrics
How We Got 1,000+ Subscribers from a Single Blog Post in 24 Hours – Groove
The Pros, Cons, and Costs of the Top 10 Content Distribution Platforms – Contently
How to Advertise on Outbrain – Shivar